Coinbase launches NFT marketplace with a focus on community

Coinbase NFT

Fin is a former junior editor at TechForge.

Coinbase, the largest US crypto exchange, has finally launched the beta version of its NFT marketplace six months after announcing its impending arrival.

The creatively named ‘Coinbase NFT’ will have to compete with more established marketplaces, most notably OpenSea and LooksRare, and thus the company has sought out ways to differentiate its offering.

“We’re building a marketplace where you can buy and sell NFTs, of course, but more importantly, you can engage,” said Sanchan Saxena, Coinbase Exchange’s VP of product, during a press conference.

“You can engage with the creator. You can engage with the collector. And you can engage with fellow collectors from a community around that NFT. This is an important piece of our strategy.”

In practice, this translates to an NFT marketplace opting for more of a social focus. If you have ever used Instagram, Coinbase NFT’s ‘Discover’ page and its user profiles will feel eerily familiar to you.

Users can showcase NFTs they have created and traded whilst following and commenting on other users’ collections and even individual listings on the marketplace.

The beta is currently only available to select users who signed up for early access and is limited to Ethereum-based collections, although “more [blockchains] will be available soon,” according to Coinbase NFT product lead, Alex Plutzer. Anyone over 18 will be able to sign up in the coming weeks.

What’s more, the launch comes with no transaction fees on NFT sales “for a limited time”. Unsurprisingly, these will increase over time, although Saxena promised a “low single-digit fee”.

Coinbase is placing a strong emphasis on making the marketplace accessible to casual NFT investors. It has partnered with 0x Protocol to keep gas fees low and anticipates adding an option to buy NFTs with credit cards in the near future.

Other planned upcoming features include NFT drops, minting, and token-gated communities.

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